Writing Presentations That Sizzle

Yesterday I blogged about my five steps for becoming a dynamic presenter.  Here is some more career success advice on presentations.

Tweet 118 in my career success book Success Tweets says, “Presentations are easy to create.  Write your closing first, your opening next.  Then fill in the content.  Practice.  Practice.  Practice.”  Let’s look at this career advice in a little more detail.

Begin at the End

Writing your presentation closing first is some of the best presentation and career advice I can give you.

People remember two things about your talk: how you begin and how you finish.  They remember how you finish because that’s the last thing they hear.  You want to finish strong, reinforcing and highlighting the main points you want people to remember.  That’s one reason for writing your closing first.

Another reason for writing your closing first is because it will help you map out the rest of your content.  You’ll probably have more information than you need for any presentation you make.  If you write your closing first, you can use it to help you decide what information to leave in and what to leave out of your presentation.

For example, when I do my talk “How to Create the Life and Career Success You Want and Deserve” I always end by saying something like…

And there you have it, my best advice on how to create the life and career success you want and deserve.

It comes down to Four Cs: clarity, commitment, confidence and competence.

If you want to create a successful life and career, you have to

a) Clarify the purpose and direction for your life and career.
b) Commit to taking personal responsibility for your life and career success.
c) Build unshakeable self-confidence.
d) Get competent in four areas: creating positive personal impact, outstanding performance, dynamic communication, and relationship building.

Hopefully, you know more about how to create the life and career success you want and deserve now than an hour ago.  But, like the US Steel pencils my dad would bring home from work used to say, “Knowing is not enough.”  You’ve got to use the information you learned here today if you are going to create the life and career success you want and deserve.”

When I was writing this talk, I wrote this closing first.  I began by listing the key points I wanted to make – in this case the 4 Cs of Success.  Any time I was wondering if I should include a specific piece of information in the talk, I asked myself, “Does this information reinforce the point you want people to remember about this talk?”  If the answer was “yes,” I left it in.  If “no,” I took it out.

OK, got it about writing your closing first?  Good.  Now let’s talk about writing your opening second.

Capture Your Audience’s Attention and Tell Them What You’re Going to Tell Them

You want to accomplish two things in your presentation opening: 1) Capturing the audience’s attention, and 2) Giving them some idea of what you will be covering in your talk.

When I do my talk, “How to Create the Life and Career Success You Want and Deserve” I always begin by saying something like…

Hello and thank you for coming.  Today, I want to dispel one of the biggest myths about life and career success.  And that myth is, “good performance is enough to create the life and career success you want and deserve.”  Good performance not only is not enough, it is merely the price of admission in today’s highly competitive world.

If you want to create a successful life and career, think C – no, think 4 Cs…

Clarity, Commitment, Confidence and Competence.

If you want to create a successful life and career, you have to:

a) Clarify the purpose and direction for your life and career.
b) Commit to taking personal responsibility for your life and career success.
c) Build unshakeable self-confidence.
d) Get competent in four areas: creating positive personal impact, outstanding performance, dynamic communication and relationship building.

Over the next hour, I’m going to tell you more about each of these four Cs and show you how to put them to work to create the life and career success you want and deserve…

See what I mean?  I captured the audience’s attention by telling them that I was going to explode a myth about life and career success.  Then I shared the myth.  Then I outlined what I was going to cover in the next hour.

This format is the golden rule of journalism: Tell them what you’re going to tell them.  Tell them.  Tell them what you’ve told them.

By writing your closing first and your opening second, you’ve done two of these: you’ve told your audience what you’re going to tell them, and you’ve recapped what you’ve told them.  Filling in the content becomes pretty simple once you’ve completed these two steps.

In tomorrow’s post I’ll cover the importance of putting in the preparation time necessary to ensure you deliver a dynamic presentation.

The career success coach point here is simple common sense.  If you want to create dynamic presentations that communicate and get you known as a high performer, follow the career advice in Tweet 118 in Success Tweets.  “Presentations are easy to create.  Write your closing first, your opening next.  Then fill in the content.  Practice.  Practice.  Practice.”  Writing your closing first gives you the direction you need to create a dynamic presentation.  Writing your opening next helps you capture the audience’s attention and gives you an outline for creating the rest of your content.  I learned this bit of career advice early in my career – way back in 1973 – and have used it ever since.  If you use it, you’ll be on your way to creating the life and career success you want and deserve.

That’s my career advice on how to write a dynamic presentation – one that engages the audience and sells them on your ideas.  What do you think?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  As always, thanks for reading my daily thoughts on life and career success.  I really appreciate you.

Bud

PS: If you haven’t already done so, please download a free copy of my popular career advice book Success Tweets and its companion piece Success Tweets Explained.  The first gives you 140 bits of career success advice tweet style — in 140 characters or less.  The second is a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail.  Go to http://budurl.com/STExp to claim your free copy.  You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.

PPS: I opened a membership site last September.  It’s called My Corporate Climb and is devoted to helping people create career success inside large corporations.  You can find out about the membership site by going to http://www.mycorporateclimb.

 

 

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